When the Hunger Games series ended in 2015, it was one of the highest-grossing dystopian fantasy series of all time. Based on the Suzanne Collins trilogy of novels of the same name, the series turned Jennifer Lawrence into a household name and set records for opening day weekends. With all its success and fanfare, when the story of Katniss Everdeen ended with Mockingjay Part 2’s release in 20215, fans knew that there would eventually be more. Now, the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes, is headed for the big screen, and there’s a lot for fans to learn.
The original Hunger Games trilogy focused on the 74th and 75th Hunger Games, which starred Katniss Everdeen, the volunteer tribute from District 12. The Capitol and its president, Coriolanus Snow, thought to use her bravery for their benefit to make the Games even more prominent than they already were. But her performance and sacrifices undermined their message and fomented rebellion, bringing down the Capitol and changing the direction of Panem for good.
Since then, fans have wondered about Panem, how the Hunger Games came about, and what they were like in the early years. The new prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, explores that era through the eyes of a character they already know and loathe: Coriolanus Snow, who was one of the Games’ very first mentors.
The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes Trailer
With filming slated to start in 2022, there’s no teaser footage yet for the upcoming film. But when the book came out in the spring of 2020, publishing house Scholastic premiered a teaser, giving fans a sense of the story.
The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes Plot
Here’s the film’s official synopsis, which follows the plot of the novel:
The movie will focus on Coriolanus Snow at age 18, years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem. Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the Tenth Hunger Games… only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12.
For fans who have not read the book, that tribute, Lucy Gray, will turn out to be nothing like Snow expected. Together, the two will discover how to manipulate reality TV and change the way the game is played.
The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes Cast
So far, there’s no cast announced for the new film, but behind the camera, there will be lots of familiar faces. Francis Lawrence, who helmed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and both Mockingjay installments, will be back as director. The same production team will also return, along with author Collins serving as executive producer.
The script will have a different screenwriter, though, with Michael Arndt, best known for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, penning the adaptation from Collins’ new novel.
The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes Release Date
Deadline recently quoted Lionsgate motion picture group chairman Joe Drake as saying the company expected The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes, to arrive in 2023 or 2024.